'Not on anyone's side': Johor's crown prince defends comments on Malaysian politics

'Not on anyone's side': Johor's crown prince defends comments on Malaysian politics

KUALA LUMPUR: The crown prince of Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim said on Sunday (Apr 8) that he was not "on anyone's side" as he defended his earlier comments on Malaysia's political environment. 

In a Facebook post on Saturday night, the crown prince warned people not to be deceived by the opposition and a "forked-tongue individual", but to instead trust the royal family to "guide" the government. 

The post was flooded with comments disagreeing with some of his viewpoints. 

In another post on Sunday night on Johor Southern Tigers' Facebook page, the crown prince said he was only giving his "sincerest" personal opinion for what he thought is best for his state.  

"It was my personal opinion and being in my position I do not support any political party or individual. Whenever I think of something, I always think of the betterment of state of Johor and I do not let my emotions cloud my opinions or anything for that matter." 

People have the right to give their own opinion and support whoever they want, he added. 

"But remember, whomever that person may be, he must serve and give priority to you and not to his personal agendas," he said, while emphasising that he did not say he supported Prime Minister Najib Razak or Dr Mahathir Mohamad. 

Johor is the birthplace of Najib's party UMNO and the state has been under Barisan Nasional rule since independence. 

"Whatever I think of, whatever I do, it is for the people of Johor and not for myself," said the Crown Prince who said that Johor was "different" and have their "own way". 

"I am not on anyone's side and I am not supporting anyone. I only disagree when a person who had a crisis with Johor in the past tries to take over Johor! Because this is my state." 

As of Monday morning, the post had more than 1,000 shares and 2,4000 comments. 

Tensions between Dr Mahathir and the royal family have dated back to when the veteran politician introduced laws that curbed royal powers and stripped them of legal immunity during his 22 years as prime minister.

Last year, a new conflict was ignited when Dr Mahathir criticised the Chinese-backed multi-billion dollar Forest City project in Johor.

Source: CNA/ad